BBC searches for rural entrepreneurs to revitalise villages

After the resounding success of Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire, it seems the BBC has decided to jump on the social enterprise bandwagon and produce its own show, Village SOS – which looks as though it will have a decidedly more rural feel.

The show’s producers are on the hunt for six enterprising village-dwellers, who will be given funding between £100,000 and £400,000 as well as a £30,000 salary by the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) and the BBC to breathe new life into their villages.

The groups said villages are ‘often sitting on a range of untapped potential that, with the strength of the community behind them, could be turned into thriving businesses’.

Applicants for the show, which goes into production in May and will air in winter 2010, need to have ‘an idea for a new business that could bring energy and life back into the community’, say the producers. You’ll need to be living in a village with fewer than 3,000 people and be part of a local voluntary or community group – but if there isn’t one available, don’t worry: BIG will help you form one. However, the producers do stipulate that ‘you have the drive, ideas and determination to succeed’.

If you think you have what it takes to be part of the show, apply at www.bbc.co.uk/villagesos. Be quick, though – the application deadline is August 14.

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